If you’ve ever gotten “bill shock” for going over your phone plan’s bill cap, spare a thought for Victorian man Kim Beveridge.
In what will probably go down as one of the biggest dodged bullets of all time, Beveridge has successfully had a $191,000 phone bill completely wiped out.
A software executive by trade, Beveridge took the gargantuan bill, that included over $17,000 in GST alone, to the Victorian courts after negotiations with telco TeleChoice broke down. The bill itself was so f’n ginormous that the Telecommunications Customer Ombudsman, who’d usually settle these matters, noted that it was completely outside of their ball park.
The story goes that, back in 2014, Beveridge was on a business trip in Barcelona (ironically, at a mobile phone conference), and had done all the right steps for international roaming to be activated and capped. While out late with mates for some post-work sangria, we assume, his phone was stolen.
In the 20 hours between when his phone was pocketed and his account frozen, the thieves accrued 4,484 phone calls – equalling of 1,100 hours of talk time, and thousands of texts.
Despite the fact that the activity was 1. Clearly criminal, and 2. straight-up impossible for one person to ever do, TeleChoice only offered to bring Beveridge’s bill down to $34,000, or – for those playing at home – roughly the price of a new mid-sized car.
Beveridge’s victory technically happened last year, when the Victorian County Court ruled that charging him for calls made via illegal methods went against their own terms of service. But was only made official yesterday, after TeleChoice’s appeal to the Victorian Supreme Court was struck down.
Meanwhile, Beveridge said that from here on in, he only uses prepaid phones, “All of my family has switched to a prepaid service. You know what you’re up for and it’ll be cut off after your balance is reached,” he told the ABC.
And you thought getting extra data charges were bad?ABC